This fall, Lerner published Girl Code Revolution and the Vidcode Coding Hacks series. These titles are active nonfiction, providing step-by-step instructions to create animations, filters, memes, and more, and provide an online sandbox so readers can practice what they’ve learned. Additionally, Girl Code Revolution highlights some of the amazing women coders that have existed throughout history and others that continue to influence the tech industry today.
To bring readers coding projects that were both challenging and fun, Lerner partnered with Vidcode, a coding platform specifically geared for young coders. To celebrate the launch of these new books, we invited Vidcode to share a little bit about themselves! Read on to learn more about them in their own words, as well as more about active nonfiction and its role in your book collection.
We were excited to partner with Lerner to publish the Vidcode Coding Hacks series and Girl Code Revolution. These books support our mission of computer science equity by bringing Vidcode’s creative coding tutorials into school libraries everywhere!
While it’s possible to produce books about coding that are not project-based, the active nonfiction style really helps these books come alive and gives readers the opportunity to learn by doing, not just reading. As you can see, the short, step-by-step instructions in the Vidcode Coding Hacks books are each illustrated with a picture, and each project in this series includes a link to a sandbox where readers can follow along.
Girl Code Revolution includes step-by-step instructions for a variety of projects along with short, browseable profiles of famous women in coding.
Melissa Stewart, creator of the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction classification system, notes that kids innately “get” the purpose of active nonfiction:
I like active nonfiction because . . .
“it teaches you to do the things you want to do.” —Gina, fourth grader
“you get to do things while you read. That makes me feel calmer.” —Jack, fourth grader
These types of books – project books, cookbooks, craft books, how-to books, and more – have a place in your collection, even (maybe especially!) if you don’t have a makerspace.
Active Nonfiction is a category of Melissa Stewart’s Five Kinds of Nonfiction. This post is part of a weekly series of guest articles by nonfiction authors about their craft, their process, and their amazing books. Stay tuned each week to learn more by visiting the 5 Kinds of Nonfiction page for poster and flyer downloads, curated booklists and more. You can also follow the Lerner Blog’s 5 Kinds of Nonfiction series, or the hashtag #5KNF on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.